As our sons turn 13, they begin a series of critical milestones in their journey to becoming a man. The first of these is his 13th birthday, the second is his 16th birthday, the third is his high school graduation, and the final one is his college graduation. Of course the celebrations at 18 and 21 should be special as well, but the ones we cover below are the ones that represent such great opportunities to speak love, wisdom, & experience into his life in a powerful & lasting way…a way that can only come from his father.
As part of the Life’s Top 10 program, we will assist you efforts in planning these milestone markers by sending you monthly reminders for these big milestones (a few months in advance of the date so you have plenty of time to plan accordingly), along with ideas and tips for way to make these occasions special and memorable.
|Son’s Age||What is occurring:||Key messages for father & son discussions:|
|13*||Transition from boy to teenager; more exposure to worldly views; increasing awareness of girls & his physical changes to a young man.||Good time for father & son overnight getaway to discuss: Importance of keeping God first; choosing good friends; importance of evaluating situations and life-long impact of decisions & how to make good ones (thinking about what son’s have learned about critical topics in life); importance of being confident in himself and his beliefs in life. Discussions about sex, girls, alcohol, drugs (and the way alcohol & drugs can affect what you do in general & with girls). Good time to do Passport to Purity.|
|16||Transitioning into adult responsibilities, particularly driving on own & riding with friends; dating & purity, alcohol & drugs, more mobility and freedom, critical to make wise choices.||Good time for father & son overnight getaway to discuss: Importance of keeping God first as our foundation for everything else in life; Importance of looking through God’s lens at the world as he learns to make wise choices; choosing good friends and lifelong impact of wide-range of decisions (including some that have life & death implications); discussions about sex, girls, alcohol, drugs (and the way alcohol & drugs can affect what you do with girls). Discussions about career interests, and how to think about colleges. Host 16th party for son, his friends (& invite friend’s fathers), and other men who play a mentor role to your son.|
|Transitioning to additional adult responsibilities & life on own at college; criticality of discipline, dating & purity, alcohol, drugs, managing money & time well, using unique talents in life.||Great time to host 2-part graduation celebration: PART 1: invite select fathers & graduating sons who know each other well to a nice dinner out, followed by PART 2: Party at one of the family’s homes where the other members of the families will join you. The men invited to the dinner should be able to offer each boy sound wisdom for his college years (see LT10 website for additional perspective & ideas). This is a more formal and significant occasion where son is celebrated & offered wise counsel about importance of staying on God’s path throughout his college years & consistently making wise choices (one poor choice can ruin, or end, your life); importance of discipline, hard-work, perseverance, discussions on friends, girls, money.|
|Official transition to manhood, confirmed by father & adult mentors. Becoming fully independent and living with consequences of decisions.||Great time to plan weekend-long graduation celebration|
|Consistent needs of our boys from their dad (this goes for us as dads too): 1) To now we are loved; 2) To know that those we love are proud of us; and 3) That others appreciate us and affirm what we are good at... e.g. “I love you...I am proud of you...You are really good at ________________________________________”|
*Manhood ceremonies: Raising a Modern Day Knight by Robert Lewis.
10 Session Life Skills Course - 10 Topics To Get Right:
Click on a Program Below to Learn More or to Register
Each session includes a 25-minute video that guides you through key principles for each topic, including activities that make it fun & effective.